FORMER “Soca Warriors” defender, Brent Sancho, is calling for the immediate planning of the 2018 World Cup campaign following the national team’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Guyana on Saturday which ended the Road to Brazil 2014.
Sancho, a member of the team that created history by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in 2006, says a structured programme must be put in place and stuck with.
And with TT being eliminated at their very first hurdle, this country must wait four years before qualification kicks off for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Without doubt we have to start planning for 2018. We can’t go for six months without football like what we did leading up to this campaign,” Sancho said. The North East Stars CEO was referring to TT’s nine-month inactivity following their elimination from the Digicel Caribbean Cup in November, 2010.
The “Warriors” next match was a friendly against India just over a week before their first World Cup qualifier against Bermuda on September 2, 2011. “We have to put a long term programme in place.
We must put together a coaching staff that could take us there (World Cup). We can’t wait until the last minute to hire a top class coach and fire them when they fail. We have to stop with this knee-jerk reaction,” he declared.
And with TT embarrassingly failing to qualify for the 2009 and 2011 Gold Cups as well as the 2010 World Cup, Sancho called for a complete overhaul of local football which he says is in need of a fresh injection of blood and ideas.
“Football needs a revamp from pillar to post. How many wake up calls do we need? We’re at the lowest of the low and need wholesale changes. We have to creep before we walk; we have to start winning in the CFU (Caribbean Football Union).
We’re nowhere close to the top four in the Caribbean so we need to climb the Caribbean standings first,” he explained.
The ex-Dundee FC player, who travelled to Guyana to witness the match, says he is not pleased with what he saw from some of the players on the field.
“The scary thing is to see that pride and passion that comes form playing for your country not there. You could have seen it (passion) among the Guyanese. I don’t want to point any fingers at anyone but football is not just about talent but about playing with that pride and determination.
It has nothing to do with tactics, Guyana just wanted it more. I’m not questioning the (TT) guys’ abilities but you could have seen it meant a lot more to Guyana. That stadium was jam packed and the people were football crazy,” he observed.